Donald J. Krpan, DO, FACOFP, university provost at Western University of

Health Sciences (WesternU), was named president-elect of the American

Osteopathic Association (AOA) at the organization’s House of Delegates

meeting July 16-18 in Chicago, putting him in line to become president of

the organization in the 2000-2001 millenium year.

The AOA was founded in 1897 to advance the philosophy and practice of

osteopathic medicine. It promotes excellence in education, research, and

the delivery of quality, cost-effective healthcare, and is the accrediting

agency for osteopathic colleges. Currently, more than 43,000 doctors of

osteopathic medicine (DOs) practice in all 50 states.

As president-elect, Dr. Krpan will work to enact the policies and

standards of the AOA and serve as the group’s representative at various

meetings and functions. He will visit osteopathic colleges across the

nation and attend state osteopathic society conventions. He also will lead

discussions on critical medical issues, including the need for more

osteopathic post-doctoral educational programs, the responsibility of

managed care, and the prerogatives and responsibilities of physicians in

the managed care arena.

“”In addition to supporting our doctors who are out in the field practicing

medicine, we also have to support the members of the community in which we

serve,”” Dr. Krpan said. “”I believe a physician’s role is to advocate in

all instances for the patient.””

Dr. Krpan has served on the AOA’s House of Delegates since 1978, most

recently as chairman of the association’s Department of Education, the

AOA’s largest subdivision.

“”I’ve been very involved with the board for several years, and I’m very

proud that I’ve been selected to fill the position of president-elect,””

Dr. Krpan said. “”This next year will be a time for me to be supportive of

the current president and his agenda and to become familiar with the

duties of the presidency before I assume that position in 2000.””

Dr. Krpan will be one of the few AOA presidents working as a full-time

member of academia during his term.

“”Because I’m so familiar with student issues, education will be a real

emphasis during my presidency,”” he said. “”One of the things I’m looking

forward to most in the next two years is being able to visit all the

osteopathic medical schools and talk to and receive input from the

students about current issues.””

The AOA has announced its intention to make 1999-2000 “”The Year of the

Osteopathic Student,”” and many issues raised will reflect the

association’s concern and dedication to providing the best medical

education to today’s students. The AOA actively seeks input from

osteopathic students on many current medical issues.

During its July meeting, the AOA approved a resolution supporting

strategies such as safety locks, education and waiting periods to

eliminate inappropriate access to handguns, including access by children.

“”It’s part of a physician’s responsibility to be involved in his or her

community,”” Dr. Krpan said. “”We want the American public and legislators

to know that we have an opinion regarding current issues, including

weapons. School incidents involving young people are a reflection of the

lack of control that exists with regards to weapons.””

This is not the first time the AOA has visited the topic-other resolutions

have been published on education for firearms users and waiting periods

for the purchase of handguns. Position papers have also been developed by

the AOA on topics ranging from capital punishment to the cost of

healthcare.

“”It’s important for physicians to contribute to legislative action to

improve public health; it’s a responsibility our profession feels to the

American public,”” Dr. Krpan said.

The House of Delegates is made up of about 500 representatives of the

43,000-member AOA. The group meets annually to discuss current issues and

legislation affecting those practicing in the medical field and the

community members they serve.